Theory and practice in transformation: the disowned futures of integral extension

Sohail Inayatullah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The strength of futures studies is its epistemological pluralism. Integral futures as defined by Slaughter and Riedy loses sight of this strength. Instead of an interpretive dialogue, the "Integral Extension" seeks to frame and define causal layered analysis (CLA) within its own terms. Its proponents do so by constructing their version of Integral as above-more evolved, higher, more... and CLA as lower. Integral, in Riedy and Slaughter's terms, appears to inhabit the totalizing linear modernist paradigm, not to mention the straightjacket of the masculinist discourse. Their strategy is the classic defining of the other within the terms of the person who seeks to define. Riedy's piece in particular makes a strange series of errors in that it: (1) confuses Vedanta with Tantra; (2) misreads subjectivity-arguing that subjectivity does not exist for the poststructural, instead of seeing how the self is contextualized with structure and genealogy (as in Foucault's work); (3) misses the entire work around inner CLA; (4) adopts the Orientalist discourse of constructing CLA as cultural (instead of recognizing that it seeks to move up and down layers of data, systems, worldviews and myths), and (5) is not grounded in the practice of conducting layered analysis with varied groups. This essay concludes by arguing that there is no need for this battle. We do not need to be either for or against Integral or CLA. We can live in multiple spaces, use different theories and methodologies, each having its purpose, each useful depending on the person, time and particular space we inhabit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Theory and practice in transformation: the disowned futures of integral extension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this